Wednesday Why-I-Love-The-Weekly-World-News Blogging

June 20th, 2007at 07:34am Posted by Eli

It looks like the bees are diversifying in response to the Colony Collapse Disorder crisis:

While pruning the branches of one of her ancient oak trees early one morning, thirty-year-old weekend gardener Joanne Hicks was baffled to find traces of a red, dried substance caked on the bark, not far from a beehive.

“At first I thought it was blood from a chipmunk fight or something,” she said. “But the texture was a little too lumpy. After taking a whiff I was stunned to discover it wasn’t blood at all but ketchup!”

Hicks had no idea how it might have gotten there until several bees emerged from the hive and flew into her garden.

“I watched as they landed on one of my tomatoes and began to extract the juice,” said Hicks. “They were actually pollinating the tomato!”

Hicks got her digital camera and carefully poked the lens into an opening in the hive so she could watch the complex process by which the bees were turning the juice into ketchup.

“The process was the same as the conversion of nectar to honey,” said Hicks. “The tomato juice was ingested and regurgitated a number of times, partially digesting it. Then it was stored in a honeycomb — I should say ‘ketchupcomb’ — where it was fanned by the bee’s wings, evaporating the moisture and raising its sugar concentration. After nearly twenty minutes of this — voila! Ketchup!”

However, Hicks soon discovered that making ketchup was not this hive’s only new endeavor.

“I glimpsed other bees covered in an amber liquid,” said Hicks. “These insects were apparently pollinating apples from a neighbor’s orchard and making cider. My guess is that these bees became bored feeding on nothing but honey during the winter and branched out into other foodstuffs.”

However, after a few days Hicks observed that the bees ingesting a yellow paste were unable to acquire mates.

“The female bees were avoiding them because they gave off a pungent odor,” said Hicks. “I’m not certain, but it may have been mustard gas.”

Maybe they just want to be more welcome at picnics…

Entry Filed under: Weekly World News

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